Author Archives: Thomas Ruttig

About Thomas Ruttig

Talking Pashto (1): One-Liner of the Week

Today, we start a little series with important Pashto expressions for field use. It is meant to complement the electronic translation computers handed out to the international forces which – reportedly – contain useful phrases like: “Lasuna porta!” (Hands up!), “Mulla Omar cheri dey?” (Where is Mulla Omar?) and “Hawayi maidan kum taraf dey?” (Which […]

Talking Haqqani

‘Totally baseless, a lie and no truth in it’. This is what an Afghan presidential spokesman said after a not-too-unimportant TV station reported contacts between Kabul and the Haqqani network, the most ruthless outfit of the Afghan insurgency. Is there no fire at all for all the smoke? asks Thomas Ruttig. It all started with […]

At a snail’s pace towards a full cabinet (UPDATED)

President Karzai’s latest fill-up list for the cabinet is out. It has gone from the presidency to the parliament today (Saturday), as Afghan state TV confirmed. The President continues his piecemeal approach – and introduced candidates for only seven out of the 13 cabinet slots that are still open. Here an overview compiled by Thomas […]

The General in His Labyrinth

Sorry, the temptation to personalize is too big to drop such a headline. But in fact it’s the system, stupid, argues Thomas Ruttig on The General’s encounter with a rock music magazine. (Hum to the tone of Dr Hook’s famous hit ‘The Cover of the Rolling Stone’, lyrics below.) Great, General, that was really helpful! […]

Latest rumours about still open ministries

As AAN has reported recently, there are still 13 vacancies in the Afghan cabinet. For the next days, at least some proposals from the President are expected by the parliament. The following list of possibly included candidates has been published by an Afghan website, claiming that it is based on ‘reliable reports from the presidential […]

A New Taleban Front?

The Taleban successfully have infiltrated Northern and Northeastern Afghanistan and destabilised certain areas, mainly in Kunduz province. Now, there are signs that they might attempt to push forward into mainly Hazara-settled areas the central region. The main road into Jaghori, an important Hazara area, has been blocked raising fears of a new economic blockade or […]

Congratulations, Francesc!

The Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) conveys its best wishes to Ambassador Francesc Vendrell, Chairman of its Advisory Board, former Special Representative of the UN and the EU to and in Afghanistan, on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Find below some of his selected statement, predictions, warnings – and also some regrets for misjudgements. General […]

Afghanistan Has a Two-Party System Now

No, this is not a joke. It really has one, at least for a couple of days. Yesterday, 15 Jauza (5 June), was the last day for Afghanistan’s parties to re-register, as required by a law. The MoJ official responsible for party registration confirmed to AAN’s Kabul office that all the old licenses are invalid […]

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